The word Christmas derives from the combination of Christ and Mass; it is the feast of the Nativity or simply the birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Second in the liturgical calendar only to Easter, Christmas is celebrated around the world by many as if it were the most important of Christian feasts. Christ is the spiritual body as a cosmic principle that we must assimilate within our physical, psychic, somatic and spiritual nature.
Introduction to Christmas:
Christmas is here! Festive lights strung, trees decorated and colorfully wrapped presents fill the house. This special Christian holiday is a time of celebration. It?s a time of giving and a time of receiving. It?s a time when families gather together again. Friendships are rekindled anew. It?s a long anticipated season of joy, celebration, and life. Most of all, it?s a celebration of the coming of the Messiah who would save the world. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. Today the whole world is rejoicing by celebrating Christmas the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. God so loved the world that He gave His only son Lord Jesus Christ to the world out of His great love to His people who created him and the whole Universe.
When God created man of His own image man not realizing this gift of life but went beyond and sinned against God and disobeyed the creator. But God made a covenant since then through the prophets and revealed his plan of salvation to prophet Isaiah out of His great love for mankind. He promised His chosen people Israel the savior to the world . He is the Son of God and he will be called Emmanuel meaning God is with us. This way one who have faith and believes this promise of God will be saved through Jesus Christ His only Son and have eternal life.
Let us Rejoice Jesus Christ is Emanuel is born:
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins.” MATTHEW 1:21
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. His birth changed the whole world – and He can change your life today. Jesus was born in the little town of Bethlehem in Israel over 2,000 years ago; His mother was Virgin Mary and Joseph was his Foster Father. When He was born, an angel proclaimed to shepherds in the field “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
The birth of Jesus was a miracle of God. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin. She was a pure and godly woman. That is why God chose her to be the mother of Jesus. The angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her, ?Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus? ( Luke 1:31).
The miraculous birth of Jesus was a time of joyous celebration. When the Messiah was born, shepherds tending their flocks were visited by an angel who told them, ?Today in the town of David (Bethlehem) a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord? ( Luke 2:11). Then a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ?Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men?? ( Luke 2:13, 14). And God made a bright star to shine in the night sky. Wise men from the East saw the star and they ?rejoiced with exceedingly great joy? ( Matthew 10:20). They followed the star until they found the baby and they ?fell to the ground and worshipped Him? (,Matthew 2:11)
The Christmas season is a time to celebrate the priceless gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His birth, which we commemorate during this season, is more than the symbol of a holiday. He is the Son of God, the Redeemer of all mankind, the King of kings, the Prince of Peace, and our joy and salvation. This Christmas season will have greater meaning as we seek to follow His example and live His teachings. With the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, there emerged a great endowment?a power stronger than weapons, a wealth more lasting than the coins of Caesar. This child was to become the King of kings and Lord of lords, the promised Messiah?Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
The Meaning of Giving and Receiving of Gifts at Christmas:
The part of Christmas that most people think about is the giving and receiving of gifts. Certainly that is the favourite part of Christmas for children! But the exchanging of gifts has lost most of its meaning in our modern and commercial world.
We give and receive gifts to represent what God did for the world. God gave the world His only Son, Jesus. All He asked is that we receive His gift. He is ours to keep forever. He asks for nothing in return. He solely wants us to believe. ?Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God? (, John 1:12).
Jesus Was God?s Gift to the World
God?s precious gift of salvation is found in Jesus, our Lord. He was that special baby born in a manger in Bethlehem so many centuries ago. This was the precious and costly gift God laid at the feet of men. We did nothing to deserve Him. But because God loved us, He sent Jesus to save us: ?For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost? ( Luke 19:10).
Accept God?s Gift to You this Christmas
Let your life be changed this Christmas season. There is a precious gift waiting for you. It is a gift from the hand of God. All you have to do is reach-out and believe. Repent from your sin of unbelief. Ask Jesus, the Savior, to forgive you. Ask Him to live within your heart. Believe the Saviour paid the price for your sins upon the cross. He has promised to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. He will do it! Then you will have new life.
Each year, it is traditional to give gifts at Christmas. Just as you give gifts to your loved ones, God is offering you a gift as well: the gift of complete forgiveness, freedom from sin, and eternal life with Him in heaven. Just like you must accept a Christmas gift for it to be yours, you must accept God?s gift of salvation. Here is how you can accept this free gift this Christmas:
God Loves You! The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”
The problem is that…All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin. The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”
The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago -God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life – of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.” God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name.” You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.
As our new Bishop of Udupi Diocese Dr Gerald had said, “Christmas is a celebration of peace and love. It creates an atmosphere of joy in our houses, offices and everywhere. Each one of us should walk in the path of Christ and inculcate the spirit of sacrifice and selfless service. We must first learn the language of love and dedicate our lives to the task of spreading love. Christmas is not only a celebration but a lovely gift from god to mankind. It brings love, peace and salvation “.
Let us accept Jesus to dwell in our hearts today specially during this Christmas 2013. Merry Christmas to all.
Author: Alban DSouza – Udyavara